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AN INQUIRY

INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES

OF THE

WEALTH OF NATIONS.//

By

A DAM SMITH.

With an Introductory Essay and Notes

By

HIEL

JOSEPH SHIELD NICHOLSON, M.A.,
Professor of Commercial and Political Economy and Mercantile Law in the University of Edinburgh ;

Examiner in the Moral Sciences Tripos in the University of Cambridge;
AUTHOR OF “TENANTS' GAIN NOT LANDLORDS' Loss, AND OTHER ECONOMIC ASPECTS

OF THE LAND QUESTION."

Terondon:
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW.

EDINBURGH, AND

NEW

YORK.

1884.

27

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Editor's Preface.

In the Introductory Essay, I have given, for convenience of reference, the chief events of Adam Smith's quiet life; but my principal object has been to point out the plan on which the “Wealth of Nations” was written, and especially to vindicate certain opinions of the writer which most modern economists have either passed over in silence or noted only to express their disapproval, -for example, the peculiar doctrines of Book II. chapter v. The Notes at the end of the volume are intended to indicate the advances made in Political Economy since the time of Adam Smith, and to furnish the student with references to recent works on the various topics. A glance at the Notes will, I think, show that these advances have been both real and considerable ; but the student should not forget that there is often more to be learned from the mode of attacking a subject by a great writer than from the mere acquirement of the more correct result due to the critical labours of a succession of minds of ordinary capacity. Just as the mathematician may still read with advantage the “Principia” of Sir Isaac Newton, So may the economist still profit by the “Wealth of Nations” of Adam Smith.

J. S. NICHOLSON.

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